Apr 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Sciences MS


The School of Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences offers a program of study and research leading to a Master of Science in Biological Sciences.

Admission Requirements

  1. The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution approved by a recognized accrediting agency.
  2. The applicant must have a grade point average equivalent to at least 2.75 (calculated on a 4.0 scale) for the last two years of undergraduate study, and a grade point average of at least 3.0 on undergraduate courses in the field of proposed graduate study.
  3. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all other institutions they attended to the Graduate School.
  4. The applicant must have at least three (3) letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant’s readiness for graduate study sent to the Graduate School or uploaded into the application.
  5. Applicants must have official GRE score (General Test only) sent to the Graduate School.
  6. Applicants must upload an essay describing their research interests and career goals into the application.
  7. Applicants must upload a resume or curriculum vitae into the application.
  8. International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores, unless baccalaureate degree is from an accredited English speaking University.
  9. Applicant must pay an application fee for each application submitted.

Granting of regular admission to the graduate program in the School of Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences is based on the following criteria:

  1. Suitability of the student to pursue research in the department. Applicants must submit a written letter or essay specifying their research interests and career goals. Acceptance of the applicant is dependent on the availability of a faculty member to direct the student’s research and to mentor the student through the program, and the availability of research facilities to carry out the student’s research. Because of the critical nature of the student-faculty mentor relationship, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential faculty advisers prior to application.
  2. Student records. Admission to the program is selective and specifications concerning grade point average in the front section of this Bulletin are used as a guideline in the selection process.
  3. Official results from the general sections of the Graduate Record Examination.
  4. Letters of recommendation. Three letters of recommendation should be submitted as part of the application process. The school will not begin review of the application until all application materials have been submitted.

Because more qualified applicants are received than can be accepted, admission to the school’s programs are very selective.

Conditional admission to school programs is considered only for students who meet Graduate School standards for conditional admission and have exceptional research or professional training. The sponsor must provide a written statement indicating willingness to serve as the applicant’s major professor.

The target dates for receipt of applications for admission for the fall and spring semesters are February 15 and October 15, respectively. Late applications are not accepted and all students admitted to the program are supported on either a teaching or research assistantship.

See Academic Requirements and Procedures  for other requirements.

Program Requirements and Academic Policies

A minimum of thirty (30) graduate hours with a 3.0 GPA is required for this degree (18 hours must be at the 600 level or higher). Students must meet the general requirements set forth by the Graduate School of The University of Southern Mississippi. A 3.0 GPA is required to graduate. The following are major additional requirements.

  1. Students need to contact potential advisors as part of the application process.
  2. Students should form a committee and submit a degree plan by the end of the second semester.
  3. Gain approval of a written prospectus from a three-member graduate thesis committee by the end of the third semester.
  4. Pass a comprehensive examination (oral and/or written) by the end of the fourth semester.
  5. Gain approval of a written thesis and successfully defend the thesis at an advertised research seminar open to the public by the end of the third year.
  6. Continuous enrollment - Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.
  7. Completion of a minimum of 3 credit hours of BSC 698.

See General Degree Requirements  and General Academic Information  for other requirements and procedures.

Course Requirements (30 hours)

  • Elective (27 hrs)
  • BSC 698  - Thesis (3 hrs)